Yoshifumi Kondo, Whisper of the Heart

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Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaa

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*Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Hermann/The Last Wolf

The Hermann stories are really very good.

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John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

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Alain Robbe-Grillet, Pour un nouveau roman

Some good readings of Camus, Sartre and Roussel. R-G is witty and direct. Though the essays end up being pretty repetitive, circling round the obsession with objects and the possibility of non-anthropocentric phenomenology. Interesting mainly as a justification of what R-G was trying to do, but doesn’t really exhaust go into the actual effect of the novels. R-G says he doesn’t want to destroy man, rather give a new perspective on him. But what is this, exactly? He doesn’t tell us. He just goes on about letting objects be objects.

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*Han Kang, The Vegetarian (trans. Deborah Smith)

Well translated and formally almost perfect. The explicit inclusion of the dreams in the first section struck me as rather clumsy, though, and at odds with the book’s stressing in various places the opacity of others. However, it remains a brilliant study of desire, repression and the fluid ontology of mental illness.

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Caleb Crain, Necessary Errors

Really quite good realist technique. But being realist not totally compelling for me. Also maybe because I made the opposite choice from that of his protagonist.

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